Category Archives: Uncategorized

“One fateful Saturday after morning prayers, we started to hear gun-shots”

Alh. Yusuf talks to us about the day he fled his hometown Baga, Borno State, and what life is like in the displacement camps. He tell us about others from Baga that he met in the displacement camp, including his parents who spent over 10 days in the bush before they found refuge. He also shares his willingness to vote in the upcoming elections.

This interview was translated form Hausa by a TAP volunteer. If you’re interested in volunteering with TAP, please send us an email at testimonialarchiveproject@gmail.com

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“We faced them, we fought, but they were stronger”

In this interview with a TAP volunteer in Borno State, Muhammad Kacalla from Dawan Masara near Baga in Borno State recalls how he fled his hometown following a Boko Haram attack. Now in a displacement camp, he talks about his life now and shares his willingness to vote in the upcoming Nigerian elections. 

TAP is always looking for translators for Hausa language interviews. If you are interested in volunteering with TAP, please email us at testimonialarchiveproject@gmail.com

What is your name?

Muhammad Kacalla

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“Boko Haram members are fully kitted in Army camouflage. Their bullets don’t hit us. Ours hit and kill them”

A member of Civilian JTF Bande Kaskas from Baga in Borno State tells how he escaped his hometown during a vicious raid by Boko Haram that killed hundreds. He is now in a displacement camp in Maiduguri, the state capital. He talks about living in fear for the past few years, what people are doing to get people into Chad, how he and his group fight Boko Haram, and gave his point of view of what happened on the day of the massacre. He also talked about what life is like in the camps and the need for education and healthcare. He also expressed his willingness to vote in Nigeria’s upcoming elections.

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“We have a president that would go to a social event the next day [after an attack] and be dancing”

Almost ten months after the abduction of over 200 girls in Chibok Local Government Area of Borno State, the campaign to pressure the government to rescue them persists. This interview features Bring Back Our Girls campaign Strategy Committee member Bukky Shonibare, and she talks to TAP about displacement, government’s role and what she hopes the next four years would bring in terms of improving the security situation in Nigeria’s northeast. She talks about her initiative Adopt a Camp,  what ordinary people in more peaceful areas of the northeast are doing to help residents from more troubled regions, and what is needed in the government agencies’ work with displacement communities.

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“I heard them say ‘kill them! shoot them!'”

TAP interviewed a young woman from Enugu State who lived in Borno for close to a decade, and worked as a teacher in Borno State for three years. She has now returned to Enugu after having experienced wave after wave of violence in her neighbourhood. She talks to TAP about how she escaped an attack on her neighbourhood and hastily returned to her home state, the debilitating impact of the violence on her family’s livelihood. The bureaucratic hurdles that have hindered government’s reappointment of her to a school in Enugu State give insight into the situation facing many civil servants who have to leave violence-affected states to resettle elsewhere in the country. 

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“I kept my grip firm on the hand with the gun”

A survivor of the Gombe attack by Boko Haram speaks to a TAP volunteer about being present at the site of the attack and what he experienced. He talked about how his own intervention helped the authorities catch a suspected Boko Haram member, and expressed the hope that justice will be served.

The first explosion came when I was at the entrance of our office at Gombe Line Park. The first car exploded and the people ran outside. The people inside got upset/confused and ran outside. We also got upset but not as those inside, so I stood still. While standing there then I saw someone with a gun who shot under a parked car, and the car exploded. He then ran into the midst of people. I grabbed him. He kept struggling to turn the gun at me in order to shoot at me. I kept my grip firm on the hand with the gun. While the struggle continued, the standby policemen came in and rescued him from us. Already there were other two of his colleagues that were spotted. They were caught too. They pleaded for mercy and protested that they were not alone, there were others around. We then handed them over to the police. In a nutshell, three people got caught red-handed.

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“May God meet them at the point of their need”

A young volunteer resident in Yola spoke with displaced persons granted shelter in a camp in Yola, Adamawa State. The displaced from this camp were mostly from communities on the border with Borno and Adamawa States, including Madagali, Michika and Mubi. These interviews took place in the Hausa language, and a translation of the interviews is below. 

What is your name?

Abubakar Manu.

Why are you here?

Well, we came to camp because in this camp, government is providing security for our lives, feeding us and taking care of our well being.

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The Displaced: a Documentary on the Impact of Boko Haram Violence

This documentary tells the horror stories of Nigerians displaced from their homes in the northeastern parts of the country as Islamist militant group, Boko Haram, attacks villages, towns and cities. The victims of the impunity of the deadly sect and the apparent inability of the Nigerian state to protect its citizens are these hapless and helps citizens. Produced by Aminu Ahmed and Nori Mathias, the documentary has only attempted to tell the story of internally displaced persons in one state (Adamawa State) of Nigeria.

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“People are really wondering about the ceasefire because [Boko Haram] will regroup again”

Last week, we spoke to Fatima, a journalist based in Borno State. This interview took place the day after the announcement of the Nigerian government and Boko Haram had reportedly agreed to a ceasefire. Fatima talks about the challenges of covering the violence ongoing in Borno State over the past few years, the surprisingly low rate of attacks against media stationed in Borno State, local media relationship with government and military, and the skepticism of the ordinary Nigerians in the state following the news of a ceasefire between the Nigerian government and Boko Haram.

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“Losing over 200 girls is like losing an entire generation”

Today marks the 180th day since the abduction of the over 200 girls from Chibok Local Government Area of Borno State. It is this abduction that sparked the #BringBackOurGirls movement to bring attention to the issue of the missing girls and press the government on a rescue operation for their return. TAP talked to Allen, a local farmer in Chibok LGA, about what it has been like living in Chibok since the abduction, how locals regard the #BringBackOurGirls movement that followed, and the local population’s relationship with the military since the abduction.

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